Slasher Studios Commentary: Cabin Fever (2003)

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Join Kevin Sommerfield and Steve Goltz from Slasher Studios as they provide you commentaries from their favorite horror films from the 80′s and 90′s. It’ll be a bloody good time so get out your favorites and join in on the slasher fun! Today, they take a look at the Eli Roth’s debut CABIN FEVER.

To download the feature length commentary:
Slasher Studios Commentary: Cabin Fever (2003)

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All Hype, Little Bite: “Godzilla” (2014) Review

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When a group of scientists accidentally unleash prehistoric creatures after keeping them in hiding, they realize their only hope is to awake a monster from the past. Enlisting the help of father and son Joe (Bryan Cranston) and Ford Brody (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), the group must band together to awaken once targeted Godzilla in order for them to take down the creatures known as Mutos in order to save mankind.

Following the blockbuster (but also the highly slammed) 1998 film by Roland Emmerich, the big, scaly monster we all know and love is back. This time helmed by director Gareth Edwards. When I first saw the trailers for this film, I was immediately transported back to childhood when I saw the 1998 film and how excited I was watching it. It also helped that it was being backed by a talented cast. However, after finally seeing this 2014 summer blockbuster, my excitement was shot. The ads portraying him as the villain could not be more misleading. The film starts out with a backstory of Godzilla, as well as our two leads. Flashing forward we come back to these two characters as well as Ken Watanabe and Sally Hawkins as two scientists who have been studying the creature’s history as well as new species they’ve been keeping under wraps. From that point on I found myself anxiously waiting for the big guy’s big entrance (no pun intended).

Instead, I was treated to a military, family drama where the first creatures to make their appearance are two Mutos, which bare a resemblance to Cloverfield monster…with wings. It isn’t until almost a good hour and fifteen minutes into the film that Godzilla finally comes into the picture, and even then, we don’t seem to get a full scene with him until the last twenty minutes where all of the action takes place. What really downgrades the film is that the title character has less screen time than any of the main actors in the film. Even the Mutos have more screen time. There is zero action in the film until the big battle between Godzilla and the Mutos. Everything before that is slow paced drama involving the military running around carrying guns, and the scientists discussing what must be done. And since when has Godzilla become a hero instead of an enemy? I will say that the special effects were really well-done and provided a good visual treat.

While the film features a very talented cast, they have very little to work with. Aaron Taylor-Johnson stars as our lead character who is trying to do whatever it takes to fight these creatures and protect his family. Bryan Cranston stars as Taylor-Johnson’s father who is digging into the past order to save the present. The two actors work well together in their scenes and both could have provided excellent performances, but this all to blame on the weak characters they were given with no real emotional depth. Elizabeth Olsen, who plays Taylor-Johnson’s nurse wife in the film is the only member of cast who tries to go above and beyond with her role by at least trying to give her some depth as the worried wife and mother. Ken Wantanbe and Sally Hawkins provide the weaker performances by sleep walking through their roles. During what should have been some pretty dramatic moments, they act like it doesn’t phase them at all.

It feels horrible to tear into a film that was so well-marketed and that I anticipated. But when a poor script completely destroys a title character, as well as the human characters, more than the creatures destroyed the cities in the film, it has to be said, this version of Godzilla will leave hardcore fans of the big lizard mighty disappointed. However, the talented cast trying to work with what they’ve got, the effects, and the ultimate final battle are definitely something to give it credit for.

–Cody Landman

1.5

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Call Out to All Horror Filmmakers, Artists, and Writers

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Horror filmmakers, writers and artists: We are starting our Dismembering Christmas Kickstarter on July 1st as a “Blood Red Christmas in July” themed campaign. We want to give out special horror prizes to those that donate during that month. If you have a few horror dvds, books, artwork, etc that you’d like us to give away during the campaign, shoot me a message! We will give you a special thanks credit at the end of the film as well as on IMDB for your help. Please contact Slasher Studios at [email protected] if you have anything horror related that you would like to donate. Thank you and keep slashing everyone!


Make sure to like the film’s official FB page for updates:
Dismembering Christmas Facebook

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Slasher Studios Horror Commentary: Scream 4 (2011)

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Join Kevin Sommerfield and Steve Goltz from Slasher Studios as they provide you commentaries from their favorite horror films. It’ll be a bloody good time so get out your favorites and join in on the slasher fun! Today, they take a look at the 2011 slasher sequel SCREAM 4.

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A Cult Above the Rest: “The Sacrament” (2013) Movie Review

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When The House of the Devil was released in 2009, Ti West instantly became the go-to guy for quality, independent horror. The film was well shot, brilliantly executed, and featured a powerful performance in the form of Jocelin Donahue. The film was nothing less than the a revelation. Many horror reviewers, myself included, heralded him as the next big superstar of the genre. In the five years since that film’s release, West’s projects have ranged from quality (I maintain my strong support for the underrated Cabin Fever 2, even if West himself hates it) to the entertaining-yet-flawed (The Innkeepers) to the flat out terrible (V/H/S, I’m looking at you here). Now West is back with a new project, The Sacrament. Does it live up to the lofty ambitious of Devil or does it fall flat on its face like many of the stories in V/H/S? Let’s join the cult and find out.

As The Sacrament begins, we meet Patrick (Kentucker Audley), a young fashion photographer who is preparing a trip to meet his sister Caroline (Amy Seimetz). Caroline has left a drug rehabilitation program to stay at Eden Parish, a commune away from the rest of the world. Joined by his friends Sam (AJ Bowen) and Jake (Joe Swanberg), journalists who hope to get a story out of the trip, the three of them head off to visit Caroline. The details are vague and what they are about to discover is something that will change their lives forever. To go any further into the details wouldn’t wreck the mystery of this story, and it is one that you want to go in with an open mind. When it is all said and done, don’t be surprised if you are left with more questions than answers.

The Sacrament is the rare beast when it comes to indie filmmaking. The sort of raw approach to otherwise familiar territory is welcome here. After months of bitching about the found footage movement, here is a movie that not only uses found footage to tell its story but also uses it to enhance some very grim visuals. When this film was over, I found myself shaking with nervousness and anxiety. This film stuck with me and there are many individual scenes that I won’t soon forget. Without giving too much away, there is a scene with Patrick and Caroline in the final act that is so heartbreakingly real, that I couldn’t bare to look at the screen. West holds it all in one continuous take until the audience simply cannot stand it anymore. That, in essence, describes the entire film.

4

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Indie Horror Review: “13 Eerie” (2013)

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The new Canadian horror zombie movie “13 Eerie” stars Canadian horror legend Katharine Isabelle (Ginger Snaps, American Mary, Hannibal). The film follows a group of forensic science student who are taken on a weekend long field trip. Their professor has set them up to deal with real corpses for the first time for examination. But as the day turns to night a few of the students start noticing strange things in the woods and hear strange noises. As their walky talkys (which are the only means of communication) begin to cut out, the groups are left isolated. Little do they know they will be faced with deadly undead corpses thirsty for fresh meat to feed on.

This movie was a pleasant and shocking surprise. After not hearing much about this movie and what was being said about it was negative – I was a little hesitant in watching it. However being a fan of Katharine Isabelle, I knew she wouldn’t let me down. Although this is in no way the best zombie movie ever made, it is still a very decent and highly recommended. There was never any point that I felt bored or let down. At times the acting was slightly off but it was easy to look past it as it wasn’t taking anything away from the film.

Although I was not thrown too much by the jump scares (as there were not many but were handled very well) I found myself feeling uneasy at the tension building suspense in the film and throw out there was an over whelming sense of isolation which made the film very interesting. Gore hounds will very much enjoy this film as there is great shots of gore and blood in this film, and with it being released in the UK as an 18 it was no surprise. I wanted to see more though in the film. I felt that there were a few scenes that were overkill in the cheese factor but overall I very much enjoyed it and would definitely give it a watch again come Halloween time.

The film was released on April 14th 2014 by Mertodome films in the UK. It is out in the US on DVD and Blu-Ray.

–Ross Wilcock

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Slasher Studios Horror Commentary: Scream 3 (2000)

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Our seventh feature length horror commentary is now available to download! Join Kevin Sommerfield and Steve Goltz from Slasher Studios as they provide you commentaries from their favorite horror films. It’ll be a bloody good time so get out your favorites and join in on the slasher fun! Today, they take a look at the Wes Craven 2000 smash slasher sequel SCREAM 3.

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Auditions Begin For Slasher Studios’ Next Feature, “Dismembering Christmas”

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We want YOU to audition for our next slasher feature, Dismembering Christmas. We have a list of roles as well as character descriptions below. Here’s the deal, if you are interested in auditioning for a role, please send us an email at [email protected] and let us know what role(s) you would like to try out for. We will have some character sides sent to you within a few days and you will have until June 15th to send us a video audition. We hope to make our final casting decisions by June 30th. Dismembering Christmas will be tentatively filming the second and third weeks of January 2015 IF we raise our budget goal on Kickstarter this summer. Any questions? Let’s have a bloody Christmas to dismember!!

For “teen” roles, we are looking for actors between the ages of 18-25 or actors that can reasonably pull off the look of a graduating teenager.

Make sure to like the film on Facebook for updates:
Dismembering Christmas Facebook


Character roles available:

Sam (lead role), age 17. Our lead: strong and resourceful, she is independent and very free willed. She takes her life and her friends very seriously and is willing to do whatever it takes to prove how strong she can be.

Justin (lead role), age 17. Nerdish, boy-next-door with a playful sense of humor. The runt of the group, he is often the target of a easy joke but takes it all in stride.

Emma (supporting role), age 17. Smart and sassy with a hell of a sarcastic tone. She is independent and isn’t afraid to speak her mind with a little bit of an edge to her words.

Katie (supporting role), age 17. Mark’s girlfriend and living the high life of dating the richest and most popular boy in their small down. Is unsure of her future with Mark but wants to push him to take it to the “next step.”

Mark (supporting role), age 18. Rich kid in town. Hasn’t had to work for anything in life but wants a chance to prove himself. Nice and dependable, he’s also got a bit of a playful side to him as well.

Lauren (supporting role), age 18. Slightly prissy but good natured city girl who hates the country life as much as it hates her. She dreams on going off to college in the big city and never looking back.

Travis (supporting role), age 18. Jockish and naive but not dumb, Travis is the typical small town football player with a good head on his shoulders but cares more about sports and girls than he does about anything else.

Lt. Fuller (supporting role), age 30’s-40’s. Buy-the-book hard nosed cop. Doesn’t want any trouble and willing to do whatever it takes to keep the piece.

Shopkeeper (supporting role), age 30’s-50’s. Redneck hillbilly who owns the local gas station.

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Killer “Don’t Go to the Reunion” Production Props Now For Sale

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We are currently in the early stages of preproduction on our upcoming slasher feature, Dismembering Christmas. In order to help raise some funds before we start our “Christmas in July” Kickstarter campaign, we are auctioning off some killer Don’t Go to the Reunion goodies. Check out the link below for your chance to bid on some gory good stuff from the set. We have everything from production scripts to original artwork to prop knives to the original banner used in the killer finale. These one of a kind collectibles will only be on ebay for the next week so place your bid while you can!

To place a bid or check out the items for sale:
Don’t Go to the Reunion Ebay Horror Production Auction

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Sci-Fi B-Movie Fun: “They Came From the Ether” (2014)

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Are you a fan of the classic 1950’s b&w sci-fi B-movie features? Then grab your popcorn and and get ready for, “They Came From The Ether.” In this film, we meet up with our main character John. He is a failure as a door-to-door salesman and a magnet for bad luck. After a strange meeting with an alien life-form, John returns to his sales job with some amped technology. Will his luck turn around or will his new “friend” get the best of him?

This 90 minute film comes from the mind of James Pronath. James wears many hats as he steps up to the plate as director, writer and editor. With a very distinct vision if there ever was one, Pronath executes this film with precision. The black and white picture and classic science fiction score creates a fun film that harkens back to the movies of yesteryear.

The cheesy effects will give you a smile and a handful of the actors will widen that smile even more. Linnea Quigley, Judith O’Dea and Christopher D. Fisher as John, are all a warm welcome to the story. The quality of the actors has a definite eb and flow, but everything blends into a unique mesh of goodness. A few scenes may run a bit long, but the overall production value is solid with good looking cinematography and decent direction. If you come across this little gem, take a trip back in time and enjoy, “They Came From The Ether.”

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Slasher Rewatch: “The House on Sorority Row” (1983)

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As part of a new segment at Slasher Studios, each we will be taking a look at a slasher we reviewed years ago to see how our opinion might or might not have changed over the years. Today we are looking at the 1983 slasher classic “House on Sorority Row.” When I first reviewed it back in January 2012, I was mixed (you can read my full review HERE) on my reaction to the movie.

What I said:

“The House on Sorority Row” is an interesting addition to the slasher genre. Interesting in the way that for everything I really enjoyed about this film, I can think of at least something that I also didn’t felt worked at all. The prank, as stated before, is so badly directed that I had no idea what was even happening let alone what the prank was supposed to be. Also, it is hard to hate Mrs. Slater as she is only given two scenes before she is killed off. Also, speaking of killed of…how are the deaths here? Sadly, fairly lackluster. Yes, my fellow slasher fans, this is one of those movies in which almost all of the deaths occur off screen so the heroine can be surprised when she finds her dead friend. Love the reveal of the dead bodies but to do this for ALL of the deaths is a pretty easy way out. That being said, the story is fairly strong and the actresses are all quite good in their roles. If you are a fan of early 80′s revenge/college slasher films, you could do a lot worse than what is on display here. Sadly, it could have also have been a lot better with another rewrite or two.

How I feel now:
Immediately there are several points with my original review that I am either not happy with or that I fully disagree. I mention that the prank is “badly directed” because we have “no idea what the prank is supposed to be.” On a rewatch it was clear that was done intentionally to keep the audience on edge as to what is really supposed to be going on. I didn’t find it badly directed at all. In fact, I think it’s one of the better scenes in the movie. Once element that I am SHOCKED that I never mentioned in my original review was the classic score by Richard Band. It gives every scene a distinct flavor and gets creepier as the film progresses. While I agree that the deaths leave a bit to be desired, they didn’t bother me nearly as much on this viewing. I get that this film was going for more of a classic slasher approach (a’la “Happy Birthday to Me”) and I think I wanted this film to be something that it wasn’t the first time I viewed it. That is a criticism of my review and definitely not the film itself.

Original rating:
2.5

Current rating:
3.5

The film is now available on bluray and can be purchased here: House on Sorority Row [Blu-ray] (widescreen, remastered)

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Slasher Studios Commentary: Friday the 13th (1980)

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BONUS! Our latest commentary is now available to download! Join Kevin Sommerfield and Steve Goltz from Slasher Studios as they provide you commentaries from their favorite horror films from the 80’s and 90’s. It’ll be a bloody good time so get out your favorites and join in on the slasher fun! Today, they take a look at the 1980 slasher hit that redefined the genre: FRIDAY THE 13TH.

Slasher Studios Commentary: Friday the 13th (1980)

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